From the veils of time, that is. See if you can notice any similarities between Nixon’s views on executive power and the view of the Bush Administration:
FROST: So what in a sense, you’re saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.
NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.
FROST: By definition.
FROST: But when you said, as you said when we were talking about the Huston Plan, you know, "If the president orders it, that makes it legal", as it were: Is the president in that sense?is there anything in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that suggests the president is that far of a sovereign, that far above the law?
NIXON: No, there isn’t. There’s nothing specific that the Constitution contemplates in that respect. I haven’t read every word, every jot and every title, but I do know this: That it has been, however, argued that as far as a president is concerned, that in war time, a president does have certain extraordinary powers which would make acts that would otherwise be unlawful, lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the nation and the Constitution, which is essential for the rights we’re all talking about.
Read more at The Talent Show.
Ironically, the very statutes in the news now, such as FISA, were enacted in response to the extreme powergrabs conducted by Nixon.